German submarine U-242
|Ordered:||10 April 1941|
|Builder:||Friedrich Krupp Germaniawerft, Kiel|
|Laid down:||30 July 1943|
|Launched:||17 December 1942|
|Commissioned:||14 August 1943|
|Fate:||Sunk by a mine in April 1945|
|Type:||Type VIIC submarine|
|Displacement:||769 tonnes (757 long tons) surfaced
871 t (857 long tons) submerged
|Length:||67.1 m (220 ft 2 in) o/a
50.5 m (165 ft 8 in) pressure hull
|Beam:||6.2 m (20 ft 4 in) o/a
4.7 m (15 ft 5 in) pressure hull
|Draft:||4.74 m (15 ft 7 in)|
|Propulsion:||2 × supercharged Germaniawerft 6-cylinder 4-stroke M6V 40/46 diesel engines, totalling 2,800–3,200 bhp (2,100–2,400 kW). Max rpm: 470-490
2 × electric motors, totalling 750 shp (560 kW) and max rpm: 296.
|Speed:||17.7 knots (32.8 km/h; 20.4 mph) surfaced
7.6 knots (14.1 km/h; 8.7 mph) submerged
|Range:||15,170 km (8,190 nmi) at 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph) surfaced
150 km (81 nmi) at 4 knots (7.4 km/h; 4.6 mph) submerged
|Test depth:||230 m (750 ft)
Crush depth: 250–295 m (820–968 ft)
|Complement:||44–52 officers and ratings|
|Armament:||• 5 × 53.3 cm (21 in) torpedo tubes (four bow, one stern)
• 14 × G7e torpedoes or 26 TMA mines
• 1 × 8.8 cm (3.46 in) deck gun(220 rounds)
• Various AA guns
|Part of:||5th U-boat Flotilla
(14 August 1943–31 May 1944)
3rd U-boat Flotilla
(1 June–5 July 1944)
5th U-boat Flotilla
(6 July–4 July 1945)
8th U-boat Flotilla
(1 August 1944–15 February 1945)
5th U-boat Flotilla
(16 February–23 March 1945)
5 U-boat Flotilla
(24 March–5 April 1945)
|Commanders:||Oblt. Karl-Wilhelm Pancke
(14 August–February 1945)
Oblt. Heinz Riedel
(February–5 April 1945)
8–26 June 1944
17–20 July 1944
23–26 August 1944
21–28 September 1944
5–9 October 1944
17–30 January 1945
4 March–5 April 1945
The submarine was laid down on 30 September 1942 at the Friedrich Krupp Germaniawerft yard at Kiel as 'werk' 676, launched on 20 July 1943 and commissioned on 14 August under the command of Oberleutnant zur See Karl-Wilhelm Pancke.
After training with the 5th U-boat Flotilla at Kiel, she went to the 3rd flotilla to work operationally from 1 June 1944. She then returned to the 5th flotilla on 6 July and moved to the 8th flotilla for operations on 1 August. She was reassigned to the 5th flotilla a third time from 16 February 1945.
In seven patrols, U-242 sank two ships totalling 2,095 GRT and an auxiliary warship of 500 tons.
U-242's first patrol, like most of the others, was carried out in Norwegian and Baltic waters. She had already made the short voyage from Kiel to Stavanger in Norway in May 1944; her first patrol proper started from the Norwegian port and terminated in Bergen, also in Norway. She then spent some time shuttling between Bergen, Stavanger, Kristiansand, Kiel, Reval (also known as Talinn in Estonia) and Helsinki in Finland.
The boat's second foray was similar to the first, a series of short 'jabs' from Helsinki and Grand Hotel.
U-242 sank the Soviet barges VRD-96 Del'fin and the KKO-2 on 25 August 1944; one day before returning to Helsinki.
4th, 5th and 6th patrols
More round-robin journeys were carried out, travelling between Paldiski (known to the Germans as Baltisch Port), Windau in Latvia (now known as Ventspils), Pillau (Baltiysk), Danzig (Gdansk in modern Poland), Horten in Norway and Kristiansand. It was during her fifth patrol that the Finnish ship, the Rigel, was sunk on 28 October 1944 by a mine laid by U-242 on 21 September.
7th patrol and loss
For her seventh sortie, she was sent to the waters off southwest Britain. This was to prove her undoing. On 5 April 1945, she struck a mine in the St. Georges Channel (between southeast Ireland and Wales), off St. David's Head. Forty-four men died; there were no survivors.
Summary of raiding history
|25 August 1944||KKO-2||Soviet Union||600||Sunk|
|25 August 1944||VRD Del'fin||Soviet Union||500||Sunk|
|28 October 1944||Rigel||Finland||1,495||Sunk (Mine)|
- Kemp, Paul: U-Boats Destroyed - German Submarine Losses in the World Wars, 1997, Arms & Armour, ISBN 1-85409-515-3, pp. 204-205
- "The Type VIIC boat U-242 - German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net". uboat.net. Retrieved 28 July 2012.
- U-242 at u-boot-archiv.de (German)